Issue details

21/00103 - People's Voice Contract (including Healthwatch Kent)

Proposed Decision

Award a short extension to the current contract for a maximum of six months (to 30 September 2022) to allow procurement to progress; procure a new People’s Voice Contract, which includes the delivery of Healthwatch Kent, for a maximum of five years (3 years plus 2 single year extensions);and delegate authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into required contract or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.


Reason for Decision

The current contract shall expire automatically on the 31 March 2022. This contract was extended using Procurement regulations during the COVID pandemic. To allow a procurement process to take place a further short extension to the current contract is required for six months.  It is proposed to also have a three-month notice period, should the procurement conclude in such times that allows a transition to the new contract.


The current contract is a collaboration with the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group to support a joined-up approach for seeking views from people across the county. There is current agreement from the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group to continue funding the activity through to 31 March 2023 through a Section 256 Agreement. The council is currently seeking assurances that the agreement will continue beyond that date.


This contract has not been competitively tendered since it was first awarded in 2015. This is the first opportunity to test the market since that time.  Approval is sought to begin the procurement process for a new contract.


Further Information

The current Contract commenced in April 2015 with an initial five-year contract period. The contract has expanded to include funding from KMCCG through that time. The contract includes the statutory provision of Healthwatch Kent and includes support for People’s Voice forums.


The present contract is due to expire 31 March 2022 and the contract will automatically expire unless it is extended.


Extending the contract by 6 months to 30 September 2022 will provide the necessary time and resource to procure a new contract.




Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 18/11/2021

Decision due: Not before 17th Dec 2021 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Reason: in order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimumof 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Lead director: Richard Smith

Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing

Contact: Simon Mitchell, Senior Commissioner Tel: 03000 417156 Email:

Consultation process

The proposed decision was considered and endorsed by Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee on 1 December 2021.


The proposed decision will be discussed at the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee meeting on 1 December 2021

Financial implications: The total budget of the People’s Voice contract is made up from various sources: Government grant (covers the Healthwatch element): £363,000 Adult Social Care: £345,700 Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group: £78,129 Total budget / contract value: £786,829 The financial implications for the short contract extension is £393,414 for 2022/23 It is proposed to reduce the Adult Social Care element by £34,570 for the forthcoming new contract provision. The new annual contract value will be £752,259 – pending confirmation from Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group on the continuation of their contribution beyond April 2023. The contract value for the new contract procurement will be a maximum of £3,761,295.

Legal implications: The provision of Healthwatch Kent is a statutory responsibility of the council.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment was undertaken as part of the original tender process and will be refreshed as part of the new procurement. A copy is available on request.


Agenda items